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International Moving

How Long Does a Cross Country Move Take

By April 6, 2019December 1st, 2022No Comments
how long does a cross country move take


If you’re planning a cross country move, it’s important to have realistic expectations of when you will receive your delivery. It will help you plan better and lighten the anxiety of moving to another state. Keep in mind that long-distance moving companies are not the same as FedEx and UPS and can only provide you with estimations. In this article, we will discuss the average time of a move, what can affect your ETA (estimated time of arrival) and realistic expectations. Also, check out this helpful article on why people pay more than their moving estimate.

Before I go on I would like to clarify that a cross country move would be New York to California or Washington to Florida as an example. Moving across the country can take longer due to the mileage. Per the DOT drivers can legally drive up to 8 hours per days and it must be logged in an electronic logbook in case they’re pulled over. There are ways of getting your household goods faster than the norm and we will discuss that below. If a moving company tell you that they can have your stuff delivered within a few days they’re lying. Some companies will tell you what you want to hear so they can secure a deposit. Check out the top 5 scams in the moving industry.

How long will my cross country move take

Understand what the reality is.


Most people moving assume that a mover will pick up and drop off their stuff, but it’s not that easy. Long-distance moving companies deliver on tractor trailers which are often used to consolidate multiple shipments along the way. In other words, a company will stuff 2-3 more moves in the same truck if space is there. Consolidating is how movers make money, so it’s in their best interest to stack the trailer. It’s the main reason a mover can’t guarantee a delivery date and only provide ETA. With that said if you use the entire trailer, they can do a straight delivery most of the time. You can also check out the average cost of a cross country move here.

So, how long does a cross country move take? You can expect an average of 15-20 days; however, the transit time can change based on many factors. The main factors that will turn a delivery date would be weather, mechanical issues and another move going overtime. Remember, that they will pick up other jobs along the way and if one step goes overtime it can affect you. Check out these tips for comparing movers.


A long-distance mover legally has up to 21 days to deliver your stuff without owing you compensation. If a company tells you it will take 12 days, and it takes 21, it’s still considered within the legal time frame, and therefore they don’t have to offer you anything. However, a quality mover will always offer money back if it went beyond the estimated time frame. All companies are different, but the going rate for a delay is approximately $50 per day for every day they go over the 21-day mark.

The DOT is the governing agency for moving companies. You can file a complaint. However, the DOT will not put any pressure on a mover unless the delay is rediculous. The best thing to do is to make sure you have good communication with your relocation coordinator. Delays are a realistic part of moving so try to stay calm and work out some compensation. Quality movers want to maintain a good reputation so most will try and resolve it with the customer directly before things escalate. I hope this article helps. Also, check out this post on how to save money on a long distance move.